For director Martin Scorsese filming Hugo Cabret may be proving a task for more than a couple of reasons. This is his first foray into making a family film, so he needs to be cautious particularly with the hard edges with which he made his name with and it will be a true stretch of his directorial skill. Most importantly however this is his first film to be shot in 3D.
Despite being a devout lover of film and shooting on film, even before announcing Hugo Cabret would be done in 3D, he said that he thought 3D was the ‘natural direction’ cinema was going in and it provides depth.
The film is an adaptation from The Invention of Hugo Cabret, set in 30’s Paris where an orphan, Hugo Cabret, develops a friendship with filmmaker Georges Melies while living within the walls of a train station. The cast includes Chloe Moretz and top British talents Sacha Baron Cohen, Emily Watson, Jude Law and Sir Ben Kingsley.
He’s been shooting the film since July in London, but according to a source at indieWIRE, the budget has massively inflated to something larger than Inception, which means it is above the realms of $160 million. Scorsese in an interview is also being very wary about how his experience with 3D is going. Recently he said:
It’s going, it’s going. It’s an experience. The geometry of it, everything, you’re really redefining. You’re trying to figure out how to tell the story again in pictures with this 3D, which is really interesting.
It almost sounds as if the 3D is getting in the way of the story, he also said originally that as long as he could use the camera in the same way then he’d be happy to work in 3D. From the sounds of it, the 3D IS compromising how Scorsese shoots and that he isn’t able to capture the grandiose steady cam shots which he loves.
The film is also supposed to have wrapped by now, but filming has been extended until February. However, Scorsese is maintaining his composure, he has been taking time out to do press for a UK re-release of Peeping Tom where he appeared to be in good spirits. But that is a significant time extension, Scorsese perhaps clearly underestimated how long it would take for him to get the film looking how he wants it.
However I trust Scorsese unreservedly, he is truly one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and to see him doing something completely new and out of his depth is certainly nothing less than intriguing. The time extension tells me nothing other than that Scorsese wants to get this personal experiment right. Of course when it is released you should go see it.
Hugo Cabret is expected to be released on December 9th, 2011